How do leadership styles influence burnout? A multilevel investigation of supervisor-subordinate communication frequency, communication mode and co-location

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Date
2015
Major/Subject
MSc program in Management and International Business
MSc program in Management and International Business
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
87
Series
Abstract
The concept of work well-being has received increased attention both in business life and among scientists as its value and impact on employees and organizations has been understood and accepted. As job burnout is a widely used measure of occupational well-being, it is in the focus regarding well-being in this thesis. Two significant dimensions of burnout - exhaustion and cynicism - are studied. Different leadership styles have been in the interest of research for a long time as it is important to understand the most important long-term organizational relationship which is the relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate. Two fundamental leadership styles - directive and empowering - are looked at. Thus, the idea is to link together the concept of burnout through exhaustion and cynicism; and the concept of leadership style through directive leadership and empowering leadership. Therefore, the relationships between leadership styles and burnout dimensions are studied. Globalization, increased competition and product development have shaped organizational structures and drastic technological improvements have made continuous communication between people in different locations and countries easy and cheap. Therefore, organizational structures that include team members in different locations are challenging the traditional team structures. To take this into account, also the effects of supervisor-subordinate communication frequency, supervisor-subordinate face-to-face communication and co-located supervisor-subordinate relationship are looked at in relation to the relationships between leadership styles and burnout. In addition to the literature review on the compound of previously mentioned research areas, a quantitative study is performed. The data is gathered through an online survey and then analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. Several significant relationships are found. According to the results, the relationships between different leadership styles and burnout dimensions occur. In addition, the relationships in question partly depend on supervisor-subordinate communication frequency, supervisor-subordinate face-to-face communication and supervisor-subordinate co-location.
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Keywords
burnout, directive leadership, empowering leadership, supervisor-subordinate relationship, communication mode, communication frequency, co-location
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